Christina Fernandez
Christina Fernandez Reuters

Argentina's President has adopted a young Jewish man as her godson to prevent him from turning into a werewolf. 

President Christina Fernández met Yair Tawil and several members of his family at her office on Tuesday to hold the unusual ceremony, dating back over 100 years.

According to Argentinian folklore, the seventh straight son born to a family will transform into the feared "el lobison." 

The werewolf shows its true nature on the first Friday after the boy's 13th birthday, legend says. The boy turns into a demon at midnight whenever there is a full moon, doomed to hunt and kill others before returning to human form. 

Belief in the legend was so widespread in 19th century Argentina that families began abandoning - even murdering - their own baby boys.

That atrocity sparked the Presidential practice of adoption, which began in 1907, and was formally established in 1973 by Juan Domingo Peron, who extended the tradition to include baby girls. 

Seventh sons or daughters now gain the President as their official godparent, a gold medal, and a full educational scholarship until the age of 21. 

Yair Tawil, the seventh son of a Chabad Lubavitch family, is the first Jewish boy to be adopted, as the tradition only applied to Catholic children until 2009. 

Shlomo, the director of the Chabad House in Rosario, and his wife Nehama Tawil wrote to the President in 1993 requesting the honor for Yair but were denied on religious grounds. 

However, Yair, citing the 2009 decision, wrote to Fernandez this year asking for the designation of godson - and it was granted. 

At the ceremony, Fernandez and Yair's family lit Hanukkah candles together using a menorah from Israel presented to the president by the Tawil family.

In a series of tweets, Fernandez described the meeting as a "magical moment" with a "marvelous family." She described Yair as “a total sweety,” and called his mother “Queen Esther.”

The President also tweeted that the Tawils “are a very special family. They have a sort of peace, happiness and a lot of love that is not common.” 

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